The comments by Belfast DUP councillor Robin Newton completely misrepresent Alliance’s position over the motion to censure Lord Mayor Alex Maskey for appearing in a republican calendar.
Last month Alliance voted to condemn the association of the office of Lord Mayor with the calendar. That remains our position.
Monday night’s motion was to censure him for failing to clarify his position over his appearance in the calendar. If Councillor Newton bothered to read newspapers, he may have seen a statement by the Lord Mayor in which he said that no permission was sought to include his photograph. He also said he did not give his authorisation to use the photo and that he was in no way involved in the production of the calendar.
During Monday’s debate he stated that had his permission been sought, it would not have been given.
It was disgusting and despicable that Sinn Fein produced a calendar glorifying violence, but Monday’s motion was simply not about the calendar. We were being asked to censure the Lord Mayor for not clarifying his position. Since he had done this, albeit belatedly, it was ridiculous to vote for the motion.
Perhaps Councillor Newton should read the actual as opposed to the imagined wording of his party’s motions before voting in future.